The main developments in antitrust are:
- Merger Control (Art. 5-bis)
From 1 January 2013:
- The Italian merger control thresholds will be cumulative and no longer alternative (i.e. the combined turnover in Italy of all undertakings concerned exceeds € 468 million AND the Italian turnover of the target exceeds € 47 million);
- The current mandatory merger control filing fee (i.e. 1.2% of the value of the transaction in a range of € 3,000 and € 60,000) will be replaced by a mandatory fee of 0.08 per thousand of the turnover applicable (regardless of a transaction being filed) to all companies having a turnover exceeding € 50 million (such contribution shall be paid by 30 October 2012 for the first year, and 31 July 2013 for the following years).
- Business Courts (Art. 2) - by 24 September 2012, the IP specialized sections of Italy’s Tribunals and appeal Courts (renamed “business specialized sections”) will have jurisdiction also over all claims for damages caused by national and EU antitrust infringements, as well as corporate and public procurement matters involving limited companies.
- Transport Authority (Art. 36) - it will be created within 31 May 2012 and will have supervising powers on the transport sector and the access to relevant infrastructures (it will be fully operative following the adoption of its implementing decrees).
- Unfair clauses (Art. 5) – since 24 March 2012, the Authority is responsible to ensure protection against unfair contractual clauses in business to consumer agreements and it may impose fines up to € 50,000.
- Unfair commercial practices (Art. 7) - since 24 March 2012, extension of the Authority’s powers in the enforcement of the unfair commercial practices rules to protect, not only consumers, but also small enterprises (with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than € 2 million).
- Food sector (Art. 62) - from 25 October 2012, the Authority will have the power to supervise and may apply fines up to € 500,000, in case of breach of the new rules concerning agreements in the food sector (i.e. written form and other specific requirements; obligation to pay within 30 days for perishable goods and within 60 days for all other goods).
- Public Utilities (Art. 25) – since 24 March 2012, the Authority shall now be consulted in various fields, including the public utilities local award procedures (where the population is above 10,000 inhabitants).
- Banks (Art. 28) – from 1° July 2012, banks shall propose to their customers the offers of at least two different insurance groups, if they require a life insurance as a condition to issue a mortgage.
- Insurance (Art. 34) - no later than 24 July 2012, car insurance intermediaries will be required to inform their customers about the contractual conditions proposed by at least three different insurance groups.
Amendments to the current rules (entered into force since 24 March 2012):
- It is possible to start a class action to protect collective interests (in addition to individual homogeneous consumer rights);
- The requirement for the "identity" of situations is replaced by their "homogeneity";
- The judge may assign a 90 day term to reach an agreement on the damage award.